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Sony Xperia Z Ultra preview: Near perfect but impractical

Smartphones have been getting bigger over the past couple of years. The flagship products from HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony all have 5in screens or larger. Then you have the 5.5in LG Optimus G Pro and the Galaxy Note 2 from Samsung, and the recently-launched Galaxy Note 3 is even 5.7in. Not to be outdone, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra we're looking at today kicks it up a notch to 6.4in.

Still, that doesn't make the Xperia Z Ultra the largest device you can hold against your ear. The Asus Fonepad and the 7in Samsung Galaxy Tab can also be used that way. The older Galaxy Tab 7.7 was also capable of making calls. These 7in devices don't have the 16:9 aspect ratio of smartphones, but one that's more common for tablets, such as 1,280 x 800 or 1,024 x 600. When you look at it that way, you could call the Xperia Z Ultra the largest phone from one of the big brands.

Due to the relatively wide bezels above and below the screen, the Z Ultra is almost 18cm long. It feels like you're putting a very large chocolate bar in your pocket. This is not a phone you'll ever forget you're carrying around. It may be too large to be practical, but at least it looks good. It carries a hefty pricetag too, costing around £660.

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is an impressive piece of smartphone design. Sony has succeeded in making the Ultra slightly thinner than the Xperia Z, measuring in at 6.5mm. It gives it a very sleek look, without feeling any less solid.

The back of it is again made out of glass. It looks great, but does collect fingerprints pretty easily. It's less noticeable on the white one we tested, but the purple and black versions will likely get smudges quickly. You can read rest of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra preview on